Businesses call for Metro control board
An influential District business group said Metro’s problems have grown so acute that Congress should create a control board to run the transit agency on an emergency basis until a new governance structure is established.
The proposal by the Federal City Council, whose executive director is former D.C. mayor Anthony A. Williams, reflects intensifying concern about Metro’s financial difficulties and what the group sees as regional governments’ lack of urgency about the need for action.
In a briefing for reporters about the council’s proposal, Deputy Executive Director Emeka Moneme said a five-member control board is necessary because there is no sense of ownership of the transit agency on the Metro board because of the fragmentation of leadership.
The council proposes that Congress force the creation of a temporary five-member control board, which would take over from the 16-member Metro board. The funding structure would remain the same, which means most of the subsidies for Metro would continue to come from the District, Maryland and Virginia.
But the control board would be able to renegotiate labor agreements if necessary, end bad contracts, privatize some operations and give Metro management more flexibility in improving the system’s performance, Moneme said.
It would be patterned after the control board created by Congress in the 1990s, which rescued the District from a financial crisis.